Firefighters have been tackling a fire at a pub in York this afternoon (Saturday).
Crews from Acomb, York and Huntington were called out to The Jubilee in Balfour Street at 4.34pm. Streets nearby were cordoned off, including Salisbury Terrace.
The blaze in the boarded up building was discovered by local councillor Kallum Taylor, who’s been supporting efforts by some local residents to see the building used as a community hub rather than new housing being built on the site.
Fire crews suspect the fire was started deliberately. They said it “caused around 10% fire, heat and smoke damage”.
Cllr Kallum Taylor told YorkMix: “I happened to be delivering a round of surveys to help the local residents’ group who are working to try and run the site as a community-owned pub with additional services attached.
“Shortly before 4.30pm I saw three people ran out of the old beer garden of the property.
“I then went down the side-alley way to try and see where they might be getting in and saw smoke from the top floor window and chimney and then rang the fire service.”
He said that they arrived within two minutes and dealt with it. Cllr Taylor was told that they judged the damage wasn’t serious and didn’t affect the building as a whole.
He added: “The main thing is that nobody was hurt but sadly this incident wasn’t a surprise to see.
“It has almost become normal to see kids and other people breaking in and out, with numerous reports made to the council and the owners about this over the last few years.
“Massive credit needs to go to the fire service, their swift action contained and minimised the damage to this special building which a brilliant residents’ group have stepped up to try and save from being lost to private flats, and run the it as a pub and multi-service community venue.”
Closed since before Covid
The Jubilee was closed long before the pandemic and was found to be empty when firefighters went in.
Many of its windows are now boarded up.
A developer applied for permission to convert the pub into flats – but was turned down by both the council and a government inspector.
However a fresh application to turn the Jubilee into four apartments, keeping a smaller pub and function room on the ground floor is now in with the council.
It has attracted more than 50 objections
Cllr Taylor, a labour councillor for the Holgate ward, added: “If anyone cares about the fate of this building and wants to see something good maybe come out of this sorry saga, I would really encourage them to support the residents’ group by filling in their survey on www.tinyurl.com/SaveTheJubilee.”